There exists an odd cycle in the modern western world.
It goes something like this… work hard, make lots of money, buy lots of things, work harder to maintain all the things you bought, get trapped in a job you don't like in order to keep paying for the lifestyle and things you've become accustomed to, then wake up one day miserable and wonder what the heck life is really all about.
I love this Tedx Talk below because it really makes you stop and think about what most aligns to YOUR own personal values… materialism or minimalism? Neither is right or wrong, good or bad. Things are just things. But when things, and the debt we accumulate to own things and hold onto them, ends up running our lives – well, we end up being OWNED by our things.There's no freedom in that, It's not cool!
This Tedx Talk with Adam Baker encourages you to look at your own life and see whether the way you live is actually in alignment with your values, whether your life design makes you happy and whether you feel a sense of freedom. And if not… what else might be available to you?
Adam's wisdom comes from his own experience. He shares his personal story of the day he and his wife “woke up” and started making different decisions, based on what was really important to them. You'll be shocked at when that exact wake up moment occurred… if you've ever thought about changing the way you live your life, but you've thought it was best to wait for the “right time”, then check out Adam's story. There couldn't have been a worse time for them to have this major realization, and yet when the inner voice calls out, you either answer it and life changes forever, or you ignore it and stay stuck.
- What do you think?
- Does Adam's story stir anything within you?
- Do you feel inspired by his message, or confronted?
- Does the idea of selling all “your crap”, paying off debt and doing something you love appeal to you?
- If fear wasn't a factor, would you act upon that urge?
- What might be possible if you turned your attention to the one question that could change everything “What does freedom mean to you?“
To share your experiences, feedback or questions, scroll down to leave a comment below.
With love, Bernadette
I do agree that Americans have too much crap, and this is a problem. As I type this, there is a storage unit being built about a mile from my house. It’s just insane.
I do feel that we need to look more closely at what we’re spending our money on, and search deeper into whether it’s a want or a need.
Although, I just bought a house, so I’ve had a mortgage for about a year. This is something I’ve wanted for years, so it doesn’t feel like “crap” to me. I’ve never been interested in the nomadic lifestyle, although I love hearing about other people living that way. I love my house, and I don’t regret getting into a mortgage. I shop at thrift stores, and I live frugally, so I do try to spend less in general.
I’d really love to hear what others have to say about our “crap.”
Great reading your insights and thoughts on this. Congrats on your house, so neat hearing you’re settled and loving it 🙂
Reading your post made me think more about my perspective on this video topic, and materialism vs minimalism – it’s one of the topics I’ve found most interesting on my personal journey in the last few years.
For me it’s been primarily about raising my awareness of what motivates and drives me to have ‘things’. I still love things, despite having sold pretty much everything I own! What things I have now I love and enjoy a lot. My perspective on those ‘things’ has changed completely as a result of my own priorities and views of life shifting. I used to feel compelled to buy and have things – thinking they would make my life the ‘picture perfect’ and make me happier. And some things I have genuinely derived a lot of joy from, like my piano which I loved to play and riding my bike, but I guess watching videos like this makes me see so clearly how much of my life was spent supposedly ‘needing’ certain things (house, clothes, car, shoes, jewellery, make up, gadgets, nick nacks, the latest anything) in order to feel complete and to ensure I was keeping up (I had a strange vision in my head of what life ‘should’ be like). It was like an auto-pilot path.
Reading and watching things about materialism/consumerism also allowed me to see how pervasive and powerful mainstream media and advertising is in influencing peoples decisions about what they think they ‘need’ (a whole other topic, but fascinating psychology!) After a lot of reflecting and discussion with Aaron, I realised that most of my accumulating over the years was out of fear – fear of not having enough, fear of lack of security, fear of not having a solid and safe place in the world, fear of being not good enough, fear of falling behind (all illusions based on my perspective). So after resolving those limiting beliefs, shifting my paradigm and filling needs for feeling safe/secure/assured at a deeper level, I feel excited and free to enjoy ‘things’ for what they are, without adding meaning to them that isn’t real. In turn that has lead to a lot more fun and inner freedom 🙂
Thanks again for your comments, as it made me think deeper about the topic! B 🙂
Thanks immensely for that piece. There are essentials/ bare necessities, and there are luxuries. What counts as luxury in one part of the world (like potable water in some developing countries) is an essential in the developed world. I wish I had a Ferrari or Rolls Royce & someone asked me to sell it and live minimally. So can we please localize and contextualize these whole concepts of materialism vs minimalism?
Hi John, thanks so much for your message and for sharing your insights. I totally appreciate that some of the resources/articles may speak to issues that are not in context for your situation, and I hope that you will find value and resonance in some of our other resources. We do our best to provide a range, for everyone in our community to gain benefit and support, as we have people all over the world with us here. Thanks again for reaching out and pointing this out, and I wish you a beautiful week ahead. Love, Bernadette